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Bookkeeping is an important thing to learn if you own your own business. Even if someone else keeps your books, you want to have the knowledge to check and make sure his numbers are correct. Bookkeeping is also a great way to make some extra money from home. If you think you have what it takes to become a bookkeeper you will want to learn exactly how to do it.
Become an apprentice. The best way to learn bookkeeping is to work with a bookkeeper. The bookkeeper can teach you how to use accounting software and how to input the clients' information. You will also learn why you are doing each of these steps. Stick with the bookkeeper until you have mastered the trade and then you can branch out on your own. You can ask established bookkeepers in your area if they would be willing to allow you to become an apprentice or you can join a group (see Resources to request an apprenticeship in your region.
Take advantage of Bean Counter (see Resources). This website offers free bookkeeping and accounting courses. It teaches you everything you need to know about bookkeeping through tutorials and courses. There are even tutorials on software and courses on taxes. You can learn at your own pace and you don't need any money to get started.
Buy or borrow "How to Learn Basic Bookkeeping in Ten Easy Lessons" by John Barnes. You can borrow the movie from the library or buy it from Amazon.com (see Resources). If you are good at following written directions then you shouldn't have any problem learning bookkeeping from a book.
Take Accounting and Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone. This course costs $60 and gives you three continuing education credits. The course is thorough and will give you the knowledge you need to keep your own books or begin working on someone else's. This course is available online. If you would rather take a course in person, you should check out your local community colleges to find out what is offered.
Practice, practice, practice. Mastering bookkeeping takes practice. Find some clients to start out with that don't have complicated books to keep and that will be understanding that you are still learning. Make sure you have the worked checked over if you aren't sure you are doing it right. Move on to more complex assignments after you master the smaller ones.
Online courses do not require textbooks so there are no added fees.
Don't take any bookkeeping jobs until you have all of the knowledge you need to keep books correctly. If you do them wrong, your clients could get in trouble at tax time for reporting the wrong figures.
- Vangelis Thomaidis